ITU celebrated the 50th anniversary of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) under the theme “bridging the standardisation gap” with special focus on a) the participation of developing countries in ITU’s standards-making process; b) empowering local experts in the standardisation process at the national, regional and international levels; and c) promoting the implementation of international standards in developing countries. 'International standards provide the technical foundations of global markets. They create efficiencies enjoyed by all market players, efficiencies and economies of scale that ultimately result in lower costs to producers and lower prices to consumers. And this has an important impact on what ITU is doing to connect the world,’ said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. This year the celebration included an award ceremony and an expert panel discussion on how inclusive international standards help countries use technology to improve lives. The ITU international standards contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) through ensuring interoperability, unlocking global markets, and promoting innovation and growth.
The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.